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Education and Training   

Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Fine Arts Program, 1988–1990

Cornish College of the Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, Cum Laude, 1996

South Seattle Community College, Welding and Metal Fabrication, 2009


Exhibitions and Commissions

High Jump: Film project based in rural Minnesota regions about BIPOC land access. In progress collaboration with Eva Barr of Dream Acres Farm. 

Sound Transit Light Rail Station: Commission to create a large-scale permanent outdoor public art sculpture at the new Kent/DesMoines Light Rail station. 

      Installation in 2023.

Curatorial Commission: Curator in residence for Bellwether Grand Connection Exhibition, Bellevue WA.

      Exhibition dates: September – October 2019.

Dream House in America: Commissioned by the Museum of Capitalism and The Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University

      Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, Boston, MA

      August 29 - October 25, 2018


Evidence Cake from The Sugar Project

      August 3 – 23, 2017


The immersive Succession collage travels to Oakland and on tour.

      June – Sept, 2017: Museum of Capitalism, Oakland, CA


A two-gallery multidisciplinary social engagement installation about women and commodification. Community engagement with Seattle University, The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, Union Gospel Mission’s Hope Place Shelter, Bellwether Exhibition and Art Walk, Seattle’s Amistad School, Horn of Africa Youth Serives and ArtXchange.

April 6 – May 14, 2017: Bridge Productions and Oxbow Installation Space in Georgetown Seattle, WA

US THEM WE Solo Public Screenings

“In the Cold” Kick off for the Seattle Homeless Count, hosted by Seattle Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna January 25, 2017 Seattle City Hall

      Equinox Studios Industrial Art Complex Annual Opening, December 9, 2017

Small Ground, from SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project Installation

      Oct 1 – Oct 29 2016: Artist Trust 30th Birthday Exhibition

Small Ground, Tent Installation from SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project

      Sept 10 - 17 2016: Home is Where the Heart Is, Oxbow Gallery Seattle, WA


Community engaged time based temporary outdoor installation and installation of the piece in the Bellevue City Hall Pavilion through the Bellwether exhibition

      August 5 – October 9, 2016: Bellwether: Bellevue Downtown Park and Bellevue City Hall Pavilion.

Small Ground, Tent Installation from SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project

      April – July 2016: The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human Exhibit, Issaquah, WA

From One to Another, Steel Sculpture from SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project

      March 15 2016 semi permanent installation, Center on Contemporary Art at Equinox, Seattle, WA

US THEM WE, Video from SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project Installation

      February 2016: Soil Gallery Invitational Exhibition, Seattle, WA

SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project

      January 7 2016–January 28 2016: Solo Installation and community engagement project, 

      Gallery 4Culture, Seattle, WA

      Residency Dates: December 1, 2015 – Jan 6, 2016

Hispanic Heritage Exhibit: Starbucks Headquarters Gallery, Seattle WA

      Sept 28 – Oct 1, 2015

Art From the Streets Sculptural Storytelling: Installation of artwork created in collaboration with residents         and guests at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. (Community Engagement workshop for        SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project)

      Spanish Chapel: Seattle Union Gospel Mission, Sept 3, 2015

Feat 2015: Artist Trust Fellows Exhibition

      July 30 – Aug 2, 2015: Galvanize, Seattle, WA

Heaven and Earth 7: Propagation

      Plexus Installation Net Sculptures

      July-October 2015    

      Outdoor Public Sculpture Exhibition at Carkeek Park, Seattle WA


      Visual and Sound Installation in collaboration with composer Jovino Santos Neto

      November 2014–January 2015: Center on Contemporary Art (CoCA) Gallery, Seattle, WA

      Artist in Residence: October 1, 2014 – Nov 20, 2014

Going Home, God Land

      January–April 2014: University of Washington School of Social Work, Seattle, WA

Two-person show with designer Nathan Christopher

       September–October 2013: Island Gallery, Bainbridge Island, WA


      2013 Permanent Installation: Seattle Film Institute

Johnson Solids, Filiform

      March 2013–present: Island Gallery, Bainbridge Island, WA

Grist: Crash of Days

Steel set piece for choreographer Deborah Wolf’s contemporary dance piece, Crash of Days

      October 2012: “Men in Dance” Concert, Broadway Performance Hall, Seattle WA     

God Land                               

      April 2012: Pierce College Gallery, Lakewood, WA

February–March 2012: Women’s Caucus for Art Momentum Exhibit, Los Angeles Art Association, Gallery 825, CA

      August–September 2011: 2011 Annual Juried Exhibition, Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura, CA

Labyrinth and Cells

August –October 2011: “Drawing Resurfaced” National Contemporary Drawing Exhibit, Purdue University Stewart Center Gallery, West Lafayette, IN        

Johnson Solid Steel Sculptures

July 2011–July 2012: City of Seattle Municipal Tower, City of Seattle Affinity Groups          


      August  2011: “Byproduct” Exhibit, Fictilis Gallery, Seattle, WA

Dream House                                                      

      July 2011: Fictilis Gallery, Seattle WA

Sky Wire                       

      July–August 2011: Kent Summer Art Exhibit, Kent City Hall, WA

      April–May 2011: “ReArt” Juried Show, Blowing Sands Gallery, Seattle, WA

Everybody Loves a Good Story                         

      September–November 2010: “Unwrapped” Juried Show, Columbia City Gallery, Seattle, WA

Labyrinth, Cells                                        

      June–August 2010: Kent Summer Art Exhibit, Kent City Hall, WA

God Land                                                                    

      August–September 2010: Commission for “Xanadu” Exhibit, Soil Gallery, Seattle, WA        

Dream House                                                     

      June–October 2010: “Bellwether” Biennial Sculpture Exhibit, Bellevue City Hall, WA

      March 2010: Installation and Workshop, The Vet Art Project, Freehold Theater, Seattle, WA

      September–November 2009: “Border Crossing” Juried Exhibit, Villa Victoria, Boston, MA

      September–November 2009: Monarch Contemporary Gallery, Seattle, WA (with selected works)

      July–August 2009: “Home” Juried Exhibit, Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA

Labyrinth and Cells                                           

      April–May 2009: Re-Art Juried Exhibit, Blowing Sands Gallery, Seattle, WA                                 

Selected Work

      September–November 2008: “Zero” Juried Exhibit, Columbia City Gallery, Seattle, WA

Mechanically Sensitive Channels

      May 2008: Solo Exhibit, All City Coffee Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA

Giant Figures and New Works

      July 2007: Solo Exhibit, Ballard Art Walk, Seattle, WA


Awards and Honors

FS Foundation Project Grant, High Jump documentary project, 2022

Springboard for the Arts, Artist Respond: Equitable Rural Futures Grant, 2021

Finalist for MN Department of Transportation Artist in Residence Program, June 2019

City Arts Magazine 2017 Artist of the Year , December 2017 Issue

Artist in Residence at Institute of Emergent Technology + Intermedia (iET+I) at Cornish, The Sugar 

Project, 2016 – 2017

City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund Grant, The Sugar Project 2016-2017

City of Seattle smART Ventures Grant 2016

Artist Trust Fellowship, 2015-2016

Gallery 4Culture Solo Exhibition and Artist Residency, Jan-Feb 2016

Isabel Padro y Valiente Fellowship, Millay Colony, 2015

Millay Colony for the Arts Residency, October 2015

4Culture Individual Artist Project Grant, 2015–2016

Artist in Residence at CoCA Gallery, October 2014–January 2015

4Culture Individual Artist Project Grant, 2014–2015

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, 2014

Seattle Foundation, 2014

Puffin Foundation Artist Project Grant, 2010/2011

4Culture Individual Artist Project Grant, 2010/2011

Attleboro Arts Museum, Juror’s Award, Dream House, 2009

Alas De la Danza, First Place in Dance Performance, Quito, Ecuador, 2000

Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects, 1999


Program Development    

Steering Committee: Path With Art Re-integration from Incarceration Art Program 

Developing RfI art program with partner organizations, artists, staff and community members. 2024

Co-Founder King County Jail Art Workshop for Incarcerated Women

Partnership with The Organization for Prostitution Survivors offering trauma informed care through art focusing on safe space, community building and connection to commercially sexually exploited survivor services. 

Washington State Arts Commission Creative Districts Program

Developing program to help groups and organizations cultivate and strengthen community relationships and work collaboratively towards developing a robust local creative economy.

Artist Up Peer Coaching Program: Collaborative effort between 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and ArtsWA.

Program development and program pilot management for peer to peer coaching program serving primarily historically marginalized or underrepresented artists, including artists of color, LGBTQ+ artists, artists with disabilities, artists who are new to the U.S. and Washington, mature artists, and low-income artists.


Media Appearances and Publications

Crosscut, August 2018 Beyond Meinert: Can Seattle disrupt its culture of sexual misconduct? Women influencers in the local restaurant, music and arts community discuss solutions.

Part 1

Part 2

WBUR: The ARTery, Museum of Capitalism, August 2018

City Arts Magazine 2017 Artist of the Year, Sugar Project

City Arts Magazine: Out of Sight 2017. Evidence Cake from The Sugar Project in featured photos.

City Arts Magazine: Saccharine and Sexism, Sugar Project Critical Review, Margo Vansynghel

City Arts Magazine: Title page feature for The Sugar Project

The Stranger: How Seattle Artists Are Responding to the Endless Nightmare That Is This Election Season, Jen Graves highlights The Sugar Project:

Joy and Sadness - Michelle de la Vega’s SUCCESSION: The Exchange Project, Gayle Tice for Artist Trust:

Jen Graves for the Stranger:

King 5 News New Day Northwest: Nancy Guppy’s Weekend Picks for Art Lovers:

These Artists Podcast: Interviewed by Jeff Bettger about art practice and projects.

King County 4Culture Guest Post: Integrating Pioneer Square’s Communities with Michelle de la Vega: Sept. 2015

CoCA Artist Profile: Center on Contemporary Art profiles Michelle de la Vega

May 2015

FYI Channel: “Tini House Nation,” A Tour of Minimalist Living, segment on the Mini House, August–September 2014.

HGTV: “Home Strange Home,” segment on the Mini House, October 2013

Joanne Palmisano, Salvage Secrets, 2014: Book featuring three interior design projects.

Terrance Conran, How to Live in Small Spaces, 2012: Home design book featuring the Mini House.

Houzz Tour: “Industrial Mini House in Seattle,” 2012,

Inhabitat: “Michelle Makes Tiny Living Available to Everyone,” 2012

Scoop Homes and Art Magazine. Australia, “Vroom to Move”: Feature article on the Mini House.

Dominique Browning, MORE Magazine, October 2010, “Living Your Dream”: Article on the Mini House.

New York Times, April 22, 2010: “Driveway Appeal”: Three-page cover article of Home and Garden section about the Mini House and Dream House installation.


Education, Outreach and Public Appearances

Cornish College of the Arts Visiting Artist Lecturer, November 8, 2019

Curator and Host of John Boylan’s The Conversation: Power, Privilege and #MeToo, September 18, 2018

King County Public Art Advisory Committee: March 2018 – current.

Organization for Prostitution Survivors King County Jail Art Program: Women’s art program at King County Jail. Program November 1st, 2018.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Community engagement art activity for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Women Hold Up Half the Sky exhibition.

The Sugar Project: Community engagement workshops and public events held over the course of 18 months with Seattle University, The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, Union Gospel Mission’s Hope Place Shelter, Bellwether Exhibition and Art Walk, Seattle’s Amistad School, Horn of Africa Youth Serives and ArtXchange


Path With Art Teaching Artist: Art classes for people in recovery from trauma, homelessness and addiction, 2015 – current.

Cornish College of the Arts: Community Arts and Social Practice Guest Lecturer, February 2, 2017

Seattle University Arts Leadership Conference: Selected Presenter, January 28, 2017

Artist Advisor or Artist Up: Making arts funding available to underserved artists of color. 2013 – ongoing,

Artist Trust: Art Business Night School: Writing Your Artist Statement. Seattle, October 26, 2016

OPS (Organization for Prostitution Survivors): Art workshops focused on the themes of self-care and trust. Feb – Nov. 2016. The work from this workshop will be part of an installation about the commoditization of women. The work from this workshop will be part of The Sugar Project about the women as commodities. Sales will benefit OPS.

Public Art Boot Camp: Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs: Guest speaker: “More Thank Visual”: Speaking about the SUCCESSION project, social engagement, and public art that incorporates diverse elements.

The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human: Artist in residence, Issaquah School District for high and Jr. high classes on the theme of de-stigmatizing mental illness in youth. Teacher training, classes and exhibition planning. Feb – May 2016

Community Engagement Through Art Forum:  Hosted by Michelle de la Vega and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. 4 community engagement artists talk about motivations, processes and goals integrating community for social change through arts projects. Fall 2016.

The Incredible Intensity of Just Being Human: Program Guest Artist. Work with Issaquah, WA High and Jr. High schools in the art class to talk about social practice art and work with the teachers to design and implement a curriculum and project about awareness of youth mental illness. April 2016

Seattle Girls School All School Community Meeting: Guest Speaker: Community Engagement and Art. Nov 16, 2015

Sawhorse Revolution: Guest Speaker for high school girls design and build class: Community Engagement and Art. Nov 8, 2015

Artist Talk at Artists of Color Salon: On Community Engagement Through Art. Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA. Aug 16, 2015

Seattle Union Gospel Mission: Art workshop on mixed-media storytelling using mixed media, for SUCCESSION installation. Also showing at UGM Art Gallery September 3. Workshop dates: August 2015

Recovery Cafe: Art workshop on mixed-media storytelling using mixed media, for SUCCESSION installation. Also shown at Recovery Café Open Mic May 2015. Workshop dates: April 2015

Chief Sealth High School, Seattle, WA: Visual art workshop, part of, September 2014

UW School of Social Work, Seattle, WA: Talk on creative process and Community Engagement through art, April 15, 2014

The Vet Art Project, Seattle, WA: Dream House installation and workshop, April 2010

Keeping the Faith,Prison Project: Visual art teacher, 2009                                                                

Youth Arts Program, WA Middle School, Visual art workshop, Part of Pat Graney Company’s House of Mind, 2008

Keeping the Faith, Transitions Program, Seattle University Visual art workshop, Pat Graney Company, 2008         

Keeping the Faith, Prison Project, Movement Arts Intern, Pat Graney Company, 1999     


Performance Art             

Nov. 2015 - Collaboration with Dutch installation artist at Microsoft Research Studio99 Aduen Darriba.

1997–1999, 2008–Present: Dancer/performer, Pat Graney Company                             

2002–2004: Dancer/performer, Mary Sheldon Scott/Jarred Powell Performance     

1997–2001: Dancer/performer, Business Manager, KT Niehoff’s Lingo Dance Theater

1999: Choreographer, Row, Seattle Fringe Festival; Seattle Arts Edge Festival; On the Boards’ 12 Min. Max

1997–1999: Founding Member, Glassbones Collective

Additional Performing: Wade Madsen, Deborah Wolf, Rob Kitsos, Pablo Cornejo, Allison VanDyke, Corrie Befort, Beth Huerta, Mary Dineen.

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